Rohit and I worked together briefly at a staffing firm in Downtown Los Angeles. Personally, I believe he found his calling outside the job we worked together. What I believe he really loved was writing.
Rohit and I would always chop sports, writing, and being brown in downtown, but mostly sports. Ro writes for different sporting blogs nightly as a second source of income. He once told me, "I got my 9 - 5 here [at the staffing firm] and I do what I love after [writing about sports]." Ro knows his sports. He can talk cricket or wrestling, cover the LA Galaxy, and probably cross you up on the basketball court and then write about it after. He'd probably have access to Staples Center too.
Which is why I wanted to write him a letter telling him I'm not going to watch sports for a year. I'm going on a "Sports-Fast" and I can't think of anyone more opposed to the idea of stopping watching sports.
What's good Ro?
I hear you're livin' well (thanks for checkin' in the other day). I'm glad you're finding as much success there [at the staffing firm] as you are in the realm of writing. I'm happy for you. I hope success follows you in everything you do. Personally, I hope you follow the love. I remember you FaceTimed' me from Game 7 of the Clippers and Spurs this past year. DAMN! That's a fan boy like mine's dream and there you were sitting on press row living it! Happy to say you're my friend dude. That was cool.
Anyway, like I mentioned in your intro for this letter, I'm giving up sports for a while. I'm calling it a "Sports-Fast". As of the last game of the NBA Finals this past year (when Scott Foster won me 27 dollars on my most recent bet) I have not watched any sporting event.
Now before you go about pointing out that it's July and there are no sports worth watching, remember that we live in Los Angeles where the Dodger games are a hop, skip, and stones throw away. Remember the Women's World Cup and the Gold Cup are (were) going on and that I lived in Japan last time the USA beat Japan (walked to a bar at 4 in the morning to watch the game too) and I moved to Brazil (in part) because of the World Cup. For dude's like us, there are always sporting events on TV and if there isn't we'll find one online.
For the next year, (starting and ending with the end of the NBA Finals) I'm not going to watch any sports. No Gold Cup, Dodger games, October Classics, NBA, NFL, Oregon Ducks, or March Madness for the next year. I'm tired of the same old story that I never seem to remember. Honestly, even when I do remember I feel strange that I can bask in the glory of other men who could care less what happens to me. I've unfollowed every athlete, sports journalist (save you), and team on Instagram and Twitter. I don't want to hear the inside scoop or know about trades. I don't want to care about Marcus Mariota's rookie year, or if Oregon can beat Ohio State this year. I don't want to care about where Deandre Jordan goes or who the Lakers get in the draft.
I know I'll hear about it somehow. Sports are ubiquitous in this country dude. My old man once told me, "Sports are the opiate of the American Male." Dude's old and watches more sports than you and I combined (probably) but he has a point.
So here it is Ro.
I grew up on sports. I love(d) playing. I coached for 6 years and I enjoyed it with passion and fervor. In some ways, you can go so far as to say that sports saved my life.
You remember I told you about my homie Johnny (who's serving back-to-back life sentences)? He and I used to play all the time. We were on the same team for the same school. By the time we were both in high school (he was a sohphmore and I was a freshman) he stopped playing football and that's where his woes started.
I was 14, in the weight-room trying to power clean 185 and he was in the girl's bathroom doing cocaine lines. Things got heavy for him soon after he stopped playing sports. I stayed on the team if not for love of the game, for love of my teammates and he didn't. By the time he was 19 he had already started serving his life sentences. I was taking General Ed classes at East Los Angeles Community College (Go Huskies!). While all the homies laughed (and still laugh) when I repped' ELAC, I'd rather sit in on some bullshit Meterology G.E than do time in Pelican Bay.
Whereas there could've been many other differences that sent Johnny down his path and me down mine, I believe playing sports was at the crux of our proverbial "fork in the road" and I'm grateful for every team I was a part of, as a player or a coach, because I believe I can truly appreciate the value of it.
That's why it's going to be so damn hard to not watch sports!
I get it. It's fun. I'm an American male and zoning out for 9 hours on Sunday while getting piss drunk can be a fun way to pass time. It can't be everything though.
I'm tired of advertisers telling me what to invest in, what to drink, or how to get my dick hard.
I'm tired of my teams losing and then having to come up with "Tim Donaghy-esque" reasons for their losses (even more sick of possibly being right!)
I'm tired of celebrating other men's victories.
I'm tired of sitting and watching competition amongst men I don't know personally, discussing and debating their talent, watching others discuss and debate their talent, while drinking for 9 hours a day on Sundays and 3 hours on weekdays depending on what time of the year it is.
I'm tired of sports Ro.
Surely, I can find something better to do with my time.
There's so much going on at any given moment, I don't need advertisers telling me what to focus on. I like wine, gin, cognac, whiskey and 日本酒 and I'd rather drink knock off versions of the aforementioned than settle for a Bud or Coors light.
Maybe when I'm 50 or 60 I'll need non-human help to get a boner but I'm doin' fine right now (because I know you were wondering, LOLs). I don't care to here about erections lasting longer than 4 hours while I have trouble seeing and hearing. I don't want to sit and watch anything.
I want to move and learn and getting caught up in the masculine soap opera that is Sports in the USA, just don't do it for me anymore.
And since they're not paying my bills I'm going to stop watching them for a year.
Almost 27 years on the planet has taught me that if you aren't getting what you want or you aren't satisfied with something, you have to evaluate what you're doing and what's causing that disatisfaction.
So here's to experimentation for the sake of evaluation.
My "Sports-Fast" started when the Warriors won the NBA Title. It'll end next year after another Western Conference Team wins the title (probably the Spurs or the Thunder) and the only way I'll watch any sporting event is if the Clippers make it to the NBA Finals (fat chance, huh?) or one of the players I used to coach invites me to a high school game he's playing in (I feel like a proud father when I think I used to coach these kids when they were 10!).
Aside from those two events, I'm fasting.
I feel like the odds are not in my favor.
I feel like I'm going to be a visitor in my own country!
Seriously, think about it. A soon-to-be 27-year-old man who graduated from a big football school in the USA not watching any sports for a year while living in the USA?
Well, I guess if I'm lucky, I'll get Scott Foster on my side.
You know he always roots for the visitors.
All the love,